Port Vale scorer Tom Pope 'owed respect to Crewe fans'

Port Vale striker Tom Pope
Tom Pope scored 17 goals in 64 appearances for Crewe Alexandra

Port Vale's Tom Pope has said he did not excessively celebrate his goal in the 1-1 draw at Crewe out of respect for the club where his career started.

He told BBC Radio Stoke: "It was nice to get on the scoresheet but I didn't want to rub it in too much.

"They brought me in from non-league, they helped my career and helped me play in games like this.

"I've got a lot more respect for Dario Gradi, the players and the fans than to go wild and cause too much trouble."

The 26-year-old equalised less than two minutes after Byron Moore had put Crewe ahead in a fiercely-contested local derby at Gresty Road on Saturday.

Pope has point to prove against Rotherham

Pope was signed by Crewe boss Gradi from Biddulph Vics in 2006 and went on to play 64 times in three years with the Alex, scoring 17 goals, before leaving to join Rotherham for £150,000.

He was allowed to leave the Millers for Port Vale on a free transfer in August and he is determined to prove a point to his former employers when the two clubs meet at Vale Park on Saturday.

"I left here [Crewe] on good terms and it was only the ex-manager [Gudjon Thordarson] that I fell out with," added Pope. "The fans have always been great and I still speak to all of the players.

"It's a different story at Rotherham so it would be nice if I could get the winner and three points against them and rub it in a few of their faces."

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